BP XI vs England Lions: Ankit Rajpoot shines for the host

Ankit Rajpoot, the fast bowler, rattles the top-order of the visiting side, taking four for 20.

Ankit Rajpoot precipitated an England Lions collapse on Sunday. Photo: M. R. Praveen Chandran

The Board President’s XI (BP XI) side and England Lions adopted contrasting approaches to their respective innings after having been rattled by fiery spells from fast bowlers, on Day One of the warm-up match between them at the KCA-St. Xavier’s College ground here on Sunday.

Lions suffered a familiar collapse, triggered by Ankit Rajpoot (four for 20). It scratched around afterwards to score 145 for six off the initial allotted 60 overs.

Counter-attacking knocks

BP XI also did not have the best of starts as James Porter made early inroads, leaving the side struggling at 7 for 2. But unlike the visiting team, the situation did not deter batsmen from playing their strokes. First, Siddesh Lad, and later, Ishan Kishan played counter-attacking knocks. Lad responded with a string of boundaries off medium pacers, but a peach of a delivery from Zak Chappell ended his stay.

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Kishan, in the company of Priyam Garg, treated the spinners with disdain to add 41 runs for the fifth wicket. Dominic Bess got the lucky break when Priyam was adjudged lbw. But Kishan and new man Rinku Singh remained unseparated at stumps, adding 30 runs for the sixth wicket.

At stumps, BP XI had raced to 134 for five off 30 overs.

Bounce, movement for Rajpoot

In the morning, English openers Max Holden and Alex Davies went about the business of blunting the new ball with calmness. The left-handed Max Holden combined watchfulness with aggression, often driving and square-cutting the loose offerings from medium pacers to score majority of the runs in the opening stand of 53.

But change of ends brought instant reward for Rajpoot, who extracted bounce and movement to have the Englishmen hopping.

Alex Davies (11) was caught in the slips and Ben Duckett (0) trapped in front. Captain Sam Billings (0) was tempted to nick at an outswinger while Holden (38), who had looked so assured in the middle, lost his wicket by swishing at an away-going delivery; he was caught by Kishan. England lost four wickets for just seven runs and it was followed by a period of consolidation by Ollie Pope and Sam Haines. The duo added 46 painstaking runs for the fifth wicket until Saurabh Kumar trapped Pope in front for 24. Sam Haines remained unbeaten on 40.

The scores
  • England Lions 145 for six in 60 overs (Sam Hain 40 n.o., Max Holden 38, Ankit Rajpoot four for 20) v Board President XI 134 for five in 30 overs (Ishan Kishan 40 n.o.).